Friday, July 17, 2009

Back from the Bush

We got back from three days in the bush last night. We were treated to a Mexican meal at Eric's House by several mission hosts. It was delicious! The best things though were the warm bath water provided by Mrs. Moono (our host) and sleeping in a real bed!!
The people at Simalindu were very needy and combined with the Kapaulu clinic, the medical team saw almost 5000 people. Thankfully, most of the people were not acutely ill and we did see many fat, healthy babies.
Doug and I are both healthy, although Doug's knees are bothering him a lot, they were better this morning. Today is a "down" day, where we can relax and do fun things. There is a soccer game this afternoon and a few tours around the mission for newcomers.
Tomorrow We set out for two more clinic sites and three more nights in the bush.
Please continue praying for us and the people that we will be treating.
Also, please continue praying for Doug's mother and her caregivers. We will be back to Abilene soon and so hope that she will be there waiting for us when we return.
Love to all,
**Nichole please pass this on to PaPa and Momma Dot

Saturday, July 11, 2009

In Zambia

we finally arrived at Namwianga Mission about 9:30 last night. We are staying with the Moono's (where I stayed in 2004). I had a good night's sleep. Doug slept better,but still needs more to catch up. Breakfast was at 8 am and then I went up to the hospital to look at some needs for L&D. They need a new incubator for all of the babies that have been born lately - 18 just last week! The incubators can be bought in Lusaka for only $3500 and are perfect for Zambia. I will have pictures later. Also, they only have enough clamps for 6 packs to be sterile at one time. They only need 1 Kocher and 1 peon.
We will have lunch soon and then the big team will arrive. Jan and Katie, Jill and Blaine will be here and we will be all together. Hopefully, their luggage will arrive with them:) We will get a group picture for you, Maui. Church tomorrow and then Monday we leave for Simalundu and our first clinic.
More news later. Pass this on to everyone.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Getting Ready for Africa

It has been a long time since my last post. Since then I have been to Peoria and Chicago for Michael's and Michelle's wedding. It was a fun, but a busy time. The wedding was beautiful and sweet, and very much Michael and Michelle. I will post a few pictures once I have some to post. We will be hosting a reception when school starts back up. I will have pictures and video there.

I have also been spending a lot of time with Maui (my mother-in-law). Maui has been fighting ALS for a long time now and her time with us is getting short. Jan and Jill (my sisters-in-law) and Doug all take turns spending the night with her and the days, too. I have only been there one night, but I go in the afternoons following work. My contribution to her physical care is miniscule compared to those three. The other sister, Jayne, comes when she can. She has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer and is fighting her own battles now.

Today I have been gathering my katundu (Chitonga for stuff) so I can pack later. I want to get the packing done and not wait until the last minute. I am ready to go back to Zambia and to the Medical Mission. It has been three years this time - the plan has been to go every two.  

I was supposed to go last year, but we were afraid to leave Maui. Looking back, we should have gone last year instead. We had no idea... none. Maui was doing good last year - not so now. You know what they say about hindsight being 20/20... if you could have seen then what you know now, it wouldn't be called hindsight. 

Doug is on the fence right now. Tuesday, he didn't know if he was going. Wednesday, he knew he was going for sure. I don't know about yesterday and today it seems again as if he isn't going. I don't know what the answer is for him. I feel as though I must go. We only have four physicians going and five or six nurses. That is about 1/3 to 1/2 of the number we usually have. Seeing between 15,000 and 18,000 patients total in all of our clinics, it is going to be very difficult with so few medical personnel. We will be able to do what God has planned - though it seems almost impossible to me - we just have to trust and be ready to act!

I am still excited to go, but now I have a sense of heaviness in my heart. A gut feeling that when I board my plane on Wednesday, that I may really be alone - without Doug. That makes me very, very sad. But God is in control and there is still time.  I will trust in Him and wait....

Please remember me and the entire Zambia Medical Mission (ZMM) team in your prayers. Part of the team left today. The nurses leave on Wednesday, July 8th. The rest of the team leaves on Thursday, July 9th. Pray for our safety, our health, our strength, our example, and our effectiveness to help and teach those we are going to take care of. We will return on Sunday, July 26th. Please pray for us daily.

Also, please pray for my mother-in-law, Maui and for the people taking care of her while we are gone (whomever that may be).

Leza a muleleke (God bless you)